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January 1, 1997

Changes in Bone Mineral Density in Male Athletes-Reply

Author Affiliations

Karen Harmon-Clayton University of Memphis Memphis, Tenn

JAMA. 1997;277(1):24. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540250032026

In Reply.  —The authors of these letters eloquently point out that there are inherent limitations to field research and a balance in any research methodology between control and generalizability. In our article, we were critical of the generalizability of previous laboratory measurements of sweat calcium loss. Our study was conducted under actual training conditions (in which coaches will not allow interruptions), had never been previously attempted, and allowed data to be collected under difficult circumstances.Drs Barr and Heaney question our data on calcium loss in sweat. Since we knew of no other study that examined sweat and calcium loss in a true field setting, we used the general procedures outlined by Tipton et al.1 Barr and Heaney also suggest that the estimate of calcium loss during training may have been an overestimate due to evaporation. Some overestimation is possible, as we originally discussed. However, it is important to note that